WordCamp London was this weekend. 🙂
The sponsors upped their game when it came to swag. There were London themed stickers, selfie sticks, yo yos, and more. Gemma and Scott also made some limited edition R2-Wapuu stickers, which went quickly after WP Tavern spread the word. Oh, and 34SP brought Wapuu along!
The organising team were super busy and hard at work throughout the conference, and I can only imagine the amount of time that they must have put in beforehand. The hard work definitely paid off.
I felt an underlying focus on accessibility and inclusion throughout the weekend:
- The organising team had planned out lactation rooms, a crèche, a quiet area, a multi-faith room, and clearly laid out plans for wheelchair access.
- Live captioning meant those with hearing difficulties could attend the talks and that those who spoke English as a second language had a backup if needed, too.
- There were retro games at the after party, which meant that alcohol wasn’t the only thing to participate in.
- It’s a bit of a taboo to speak publicly about periods and I’m even a bit conscious writing this but, really, that’s silly. Most women know that it’s easy to get caught short when busy at events and so I thought it was a thoughtful touch for the team to add little baskets of sanitary towels in the ladies.
There are likely points that I’m missing but it’s fair to say that the organisers really went above and beyond to try to accommodate for everyone’s basic needs and interests.
I found the theme continued in the talks themselves. Some highlights for me:
- Graham Armfield talked about how to make accordions accessible. Graham is a rockstar on the accessibility team for WordPress.org and I found it helpful to see how seemingly tricky functionality could be made accessible. I always learn something after speaking to Graham and, at the after party, he assured me that you could make pretty much anything on the web accessible with a little work.
- My colleague, Tammie Lister, spoke about design patterns. Tammie is one of the people that I look up to the most in the WordPress community and she’s got a well-deserved reputation for her speaking. I can see the processes she described of identifying patterns at the beginning of a project being useful in many settings. I particularly liked that she doesn’t confine herself to the web when looking for patterns.
- Emanuel Blagonic‘s talk was entitled “How WordPress changed the face of Croatian politics.” He shared the story of building a new site for the City of Rijeka on WordPress, one of the first large-scale “design in the open” projects in Croatia. It was inspiring to hear how WordPress was being used as a tool for change.
I’ll add a link to each of the above talks once they’re added to WordPress.tv. 🙂
It’s tough to find time to speak with everyone that you want to at WordCamps and there are always people I miss. This is especially true of WordCamp London as it’s a bigger event and I had to leave a little earlier than originally planned today. That said, I left full of new knowledge and happy to have spent some time with people that I don’t get to see that often.
Thank you to all of the organisers, speakers, volunteers, and attendees!